Which supermarkets are limiting customers and can elderly or vulnerable people skip the queue?

SUPERMARKETS have started to cap the number of shoppers in store to help people stick to the two metres distance rule put in place by the government.

Stores are now counting the number of shoppers who enter to get their groceries to ensure they're not overly busy.

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But they exact number of people who can enter at any one time will vary depending on the size of the store.

It comes as supermarkets also introduce special hours for NHS workers so they can get all the groceries they need.

Doctors and nurses previously revealed they were unable to purchase food as stockpilers stripped shelves bare.

Here's what the major supermarkets are doing:

Aldi

Aldi is capping the number of customers in each store but as stores are different sizes, it is at the discretion of each store manager.

Aldi will also open between 9.30am to 10am on Sundays solely for key workers in the NHS, police and the fire service.

Eligible customers will be able to take priority at checkouts when they open at 10am. But they will only be allowed in if they have ID.

Aldi added that while it doesn't have an official rule in place, it hopes customers will be mindful of the elderly and vulnerable customers when shopping and queuing.

Asda

Asda is capping the number of people allowed in stores at one time.

As each branch is a different size, the number of customers varies per store.

But Asda told us the number is calculated including the number of workers inside and also making sure each person is within two metres of each other.

NHS workers can also now shop freely on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am to 9am.

Asda added that while it doesn't have an official rule in place, it hopes customers will be mindful of the elderly and vulnerable customers when shopping and queuing.

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Lidl

Lidl also announced on March 25 that it would be “implementing a crowd control system with immediate effect” in order to try to manage social distancing within its stores.

“One of the measures we are introducing as part of this is positioning security guards or designated team members at store entrances to monitor the volume of people entering at one time,” it said.

“We are rolling out a raft of clear communication materials in all of our stores, reminding customers of the importance of maintaining a two-metre distance from each other when shopping.”

Lidl has yet to announce any special hours for NHS workers or a policy on letting key workers skip queues.

Iceland

The Sun has asked Iceland if it is capping the number of customers in store and we will update this story when we hear back.

Iceland is allowing NHS staff to shop for the final hour of trade, every Monday to Saturday.

NHS staff will need to bring their ID to the shop.

Morrisons

The Sun has asked Morrisons if it is capping the number of customers in store and we will update this story when we hear back.

It has introduced an NHS hour at the beginning of every day (apart from Sunday) so that NHS workers can stock up on the products they need.

Staff will need their work badge to get in.

Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury's has implemented a queuing system outside stores and is asking everyone to queue two metres apart.

It is also limiting the number of people allowed in its branches and at ATMs at any one time.

The store is reserving 8am to 9am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for NHS workers.

Tesco

Tesco is limiting the number of people who come into stores to help reduce congestion inside.

A Tesco spokesman added: “We know how hard NHS staff are working at the moment.

"So we are opening our doors for them an hour earlier on Sundays, to help them access the things they need and as a thank you for all they are doing.”

NHS workers should bring their IDs with them when they shop.

We've asked if proof is needed and we'll update this story when we get a response.

Waitrose

The Sun has asked Waitrose if it is capping the number of customers in store and we will update this story when we hear back.

The shop hasn't announced special hours for NHS workers, but has said it will set aside a proportion of hard-to-find items exclusively for NHS staff.

The new measures come as stores have been working hard to deal with the spike of customers during the coronavirus crisis.

Last night, chief executive of Tesco, Dave Lewis, sent an email to customers asking them to give delivery slots to elderly and vulnerable people.

Some DIY stores are also now doing home delivery as the country faces lockdown.

Morrisons has also started selling £35 boxes of essential ingredients, including pasta, toilet roll and bread.

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